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Assam: Dibrugarh jail superintendent arrested over seizure of electronic gadgets from cell of ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh and his aides

The "Waris Punjab De" inmates are placed in the Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam under the National Security Act (NSA).

The superintendent of Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam was apprehended in Assam on suspicion of a security lapse that enabled devices including spy camera pen and smartphone to be smuggled into a high-security cell of the Dibrugarh Central Jail. Notably, Amritpal Singh, supremo of the pro-separatist outfit “Waris Punjab De” and radical Sikh preacher has been housed in this cell since his arrest in April of last year. The development transpired late on 7th March.

Nripen Das, the superintendent of Dibrugarh Central Jail, was taken into custody at the Dibrugarh Sadar Police Station after being accused of “laxity.” The Superintendent of Police Rakesh Reddy stated, “A few days ago, a search was conducted inside the jail, where we found mobile phones, remote with keypad, and other devices inside the jail premises. Based on that case, we have started an investigation and we have collected some technical data also regarding the mobile phones and the other communication devices which they have used. Upon further inquiry, we found that there is a nexus between the jail officials, especially the Superintendent and others, and for this reason, we have registered a new case and arrested him (Nipen Das) today.”

The SP said that the jail official was facilitating unlawful activities in the jail, which is a serious national threat.

According to Sizal Agarwal, the additional police superintendent for crime in Dibrugarh, Nipen Das, the superintendent of Dibrugarh Central Jail, was arrested late on Thursday under the strict anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Assam Prisons Act, and Section 120B  (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. According to her, the breach was discovered last month, and the culprit was taken into custody following multiple phases of inquiry. She noted, “This is a national security issue, being the head of the jail, he must be responsible.” 

According to the police, the jail has a multi-tier security system with CCTV monitoring going on all the time. Chief of Assam Police Gyanendra Pratap Singh stated on 17th February that following a search of the cell by the jail staff, a smartphone with SIM, keypad phone, TV remote with keyboard, spy-cam pen, pen drives, Bluetooth headphones, speakers and smartwatch were found. On 20th February, he paid a visit to the jail and met with the top officials. He then issued an order for the probe and the transfer of some prison employees.

Image via PTI

According to people with knowledge of the situation, Nipen Das was being questioned as more jail officials were brought in for interrogation on 8th March morning. An investigator revealed, “This was a major security issue and we may arrest more officials.”

Director General of Police GP Singh took to X and wrote, “Reference NSA Detenues at Dibrugarh Jail, Assam-On receipt of information about unauthorised activities taking place in NSA cell, additional CCTV cameras were installed in the public area of NSA block.” He added, “Further, lawful action and steps are being taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.”

More CCTV cameras were positioned in the NSA wing’s common areas after they were made aware of these activities. The prison has a thorough security system in place that includes CCTV surveillance, round-the-clock three-tier security, and close coordination between state and federal officials.

More CCTV cameras were positioned in the NSA wing’s common areas after they were made aware of these activities. The prison has a thorough security system in place that includes CCTV surveillance, round-the-clock three-tier security, and close coordination between state and federal officials.

Since 19th March of last year, ten members of the pro-Khalistan group, “Waris Punjab De” including its leader Amritpal Singh and one of his relatives have been imprisoned in Dibrugarh. They were nabbed under the National Security Act (NSA) following raids on the organization at multiple locations in Punjab. Amritpal Singh and nine of his accomplices were arrested and taken to a jail in Assam where strict security measures were imposed.

They were then allowed to be visited by their relatives and legal counsel. It has been alleged that Amritpal Singh is kept in solitary confinement and his companions are locked in different cells. Amritpal Singh had been eluding the Punjab Police’s onslaught on him and his supporters for more than a month before their capture.

Extensive security precautions were implemented upon their transfer to Dibrugarh, which involved the installation of extra CCTV cameras and the maintenance or replacement of any that were broken. Established in 1859–1860, Dibrugarh Prison is widely recognized as one of Northeast India’s oldest and safest prisons.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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